Burn injuries can range in severity and treatment. In some cases, they can require multiple surgeries and extensive care. The physical and psychological impact of such injuries can be long-lasting and expensive. Below, we provide some helpful information on how burns are classified in both degree and severity in burn injury cases, and how this may impact personal injury lawsuits.
Degree of Burn Injuries
You have probably heard the terminology before regarding degrees of burn injuries,… from first degree to fourth degree burns. What do these terms really mean? They represent the layers of skin that are impacted by the burns. First degree burns cover only the outer layers of your skin. These are typically superficial and can heal on their own with ointments and at-home care. Second degree burns run deeper into the layers of skin, causing blistering and scarring. Third degree burns affect skin layers almost to the muscles and bones. Fourth degree burns reach and include muscle and bones and can result in death. Second to fourth degree burns require professional medical treatment.
Severity of Burns
Although the degree of burns can imply severity, there is a different classification for severity that describes the extent or coverage of burn injuries. Burns are considered minor if they cover 15% or less of the skin surface. Thus, you can have a third degree burn in a limited area and it will be classified as minor. Moderate burns cover up to 25% of the skin. Major burns cover 20% or more of the body and/or includes the hands, face, joints, or other major body part. Minor burns can often be treated at a local hospital whereas major burns typically require specialized and extended treatment and care.
Importance of Degree and Severity of Burns in Burn Injury Cases
The degree and severity of burns typically correlates with the required medical treatment and level of pain. Thus, these classifications are often important in burn injury cases in Massachusetts. Severe and high degree burn injuries can be devastating, requiring extensive and repeated medical treatments including surgeries, skin graphs, and the like. For many, it can have life-long impact both physically and psychologically.
If you or a family member has sustained burn injuries as the result of an accident, you may seek compensation for your medical expenses, long-term care, and pain and suffering. Working with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury law firm can help you obtain the compensation that you deserve to improve your quality of life or compensate you for a loss. Contact Martino Law Group for legal representation on your burn injury case.